French policing in times of austerity policy: Kärcher, statistics and Tarnac

shutterstock_35439445_0French conditions?
Lecture in Berlin, April 4

The right-wing populist security policy of Sarkozy has not only led to the tightening of criminal law and law concerning foreigners. Nationalist and racist tendencies have continued to stabilize. The reorganization of police forces is primarily characterized by centralization and finds its political expression in a further expansion of repression. Whereas Sarkozy vociferously promised to “kärcher” with a high-pressure vacuum cleaner through the banlieue, the new “reforms” rely on the mute practical necessity of numbers: For some time now the neoliberal leadership of home affairs authorities is based on statistics of “successfully” solved crimes towards which future measures will be oriented. However, what is most “successful” here is the reproduction of power structures.

In the event we will reflect upon whether and how there is a change in policing in times of neoliberal austerity policy. Is it feasible to speak of an „austerity policing“ as well as of an „austerity police“? Which consequences do this have for so-called „disadvantaged groups“, and in which way does the policy of the socialist government differ from the repressive populism in the area of security policy?

After the presentation of sociologist Kendra Briken and the discussion about her theses we will report on new details regarding Tarnac: That little village which in 2008 after international investigations at the behest of the F.B.I. and with the help of British snitch Mark Kennedy became the scene of a large-scale crackdown. Background were attacks on overhead contact wires of TGV express trains related to the impending Castor-transport at that time. There has already been one court trial so far in this context.

Thursday April 4, 20 p.m.
Galerie Zeitzone, Waldemarstraße/ Adalbertstraße, Berlin Kreuzberg

Out of Control Berlin